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US sanctions 5 UAE firms for facilitating Iran oil sales

A general view of the Port of Kharg Island Oil Terminal, in Iran, seen on March 12, 2017 [Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency]
A general view of the port of Kharg Island Oil Terminal in Iran on 12 March 2017 [Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency]

The US today imposed sanctions on five UAE-based companies accused of facilitating Iran's petroleum and petrochemical sales.

"In 2019, these five companies collectively purchased hundreds of thousands of metric tons of petroleum products from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)," the Treasury Department said in a statement.

The listed firms are Petro Grand FZE, Alphabet International DMCC, Swissol Trade DMCC, Alam Althrwa General Trading LLC, and Alwaneo LLC Co.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin accused Tehran of using oil and petrochemical sales revenues for funding terrorist proxies.

READ: Kuwait donates $10m to support Iran's coronavirus battle

"The Trump Administration will continue to target and isolate those who support the Iranian regime and remains committed to facilitating humanitarian trade and assistance in support of the Iranian people," said Mnuchin.

The designations come one day after Washington blacklisted nine companies from South Africa, China and Hong Kong for trading Iranian oil.

The latest designation came amid the Trump administration's continued push for what it calls a "maximum pressure campaign" against Iran, which included President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw Washington from an international pact intended to curb Tehran's nuclear program and subsequent reimposition of economic sanctions on the Iranian oil sector.

READ: 'Irresponsible' Saudi condemned for triggering oil price war as world faces threat of coronavirus 

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